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Early in May, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered at the Royal Villa to beautify its grounds. The beautification project was a continuation of a commitment originally made by local Latter-day Saint leader, Ian C. Tu’ihalangingie, to Queen Mother Halaevalu Mata’aho ‘Ahome’e.

Some time ago Capital Stake President Tu’ihalangingie offered the assistance of his congregation in cleaning up the Villa royal residence.

Due to the scope of the project, President Tu’ihalangingie invited several other Latter-day Saint congregations (the Central, Harbour and Liahona stakes) to also participate in the clean-up.

There were water blasters, lawn mowers and weed-eaters at work at the top of the hill and all around the home, whilst further down the driveway all the way to the road, men, women and children worked with “hele pelu” (machetes) cutting away the overgrown weeds from the side of the driveways and also cutting the grass. Women with “taufale” (brooms) swept all the cuttings into piles where the youth and missionaries collected and loaded them onto trucks waiting to take it all away.

Many of the men and missionaries removed bits of wood, brick, bars and concrete blocks. They shared stories and made jokes to help pass the time and cheer everyone’s spirits as it was a very hot day and the work took a long time to complete.

As all were cleaning up to leave, in a gesture of kindness, the Queen drove by to thank the workers and Church leaders for their efforts.

Mormons believe in serving others and in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honouring, and sustaining the law.